I'll be there for you (when the rain starts to pour) I'll be there for you (like I've been there before) I'll be there for you ('cause you there for me too.) Rembrants
It was two days before Shawn went down to the hospital, and that only happened because of a careful subterfuge laid out by Lassie of all people.
Carlton Lassiter is not known in any circles for his subtlety, nor is he renowned for creativity, but he nodded at both of these fields when he woke Shawn Spencer up at seven am to drive him down to the "station" for more "debriefing."
"Seriously, Lassie? I must have been asked a million questions about all this. Really, it's a little insulting that the only case the media seems to really care about is the one I screwed up the most. They couldn't have picked anything else to be interested in? I would have come off very well if they knew about how we infiltrated the Chinese mob or stopped a bank heist. Twice."
"Technically Spencer, about half the cases you "solve" you have no business being involved in. And the reason the press is all over this case is because people are attracted to the word psychopath and you just happened to get in the way of one."
"I still don't see what else you can possibly ask me. My life would be much easier if I had just hung onto that camera that Gus got me for Christmas and turned it into a button cam like they use in bad spy movies."
"What happened to the camera?" Lassiter asked, then cursed himself for acting even remotely interested.
"The bear at the zoo ate it." Spencer said distractedly, and for the millionth time in his life Cartlon wondered if anything the man next to him said was true. "You missed the turn." Shawn pointed with his left arm, since his right was still immobilized against his body, and then the appendage flopped to the seat. "You're not taking me to the station."
"We're going to see Gus in the hospital."
"Yes." Lassiter glanced sideways at Spencer, who looked like he was contemplating whether to risk his remaining arm by jumping out of a moving vehicle. "I can't believe you haven't been there before now. Guster's been asking for you."
It was true. There were a couple of docs, young kids who were probably even younger than the young man sitting next to Lassiter right now, who'd taken a shine to Guster and his heroic story. They sat with him whenever anyone else didn't, and had told Lassie the night before that the patient seemed anxious, moody, and had gotten into the habit of perking up hopefully whenever the door opened, only to wilt when anyone – Mr. Spencer, Juliet, sweet old McNabb – came in. He was looking for someone, and that someone just wasn't showing up.
"No he hasn't." Shawn said miserably, sounding for all the world like a sullen teenager, and Lassie suddenly wished he'd taken the older Spencer up on his offer to knock some sense into his son. "There's no reason in the world why he'd want to see me."
"There's not many people in this world who can say they have a best friend who would literally kill for them." Lassie said, his lips barely moving. "And there are not many people who can say that they have a two decade old friendship. Really, Guster should be sainted for putting up with you."
Lassiter, as a rule, thought of Spencer and his sidekick as little as possible, but they'd intruded on his investigations so often in the past four years that he simply could not help but notice some things. Like how he felt a stab of jealousy anytime the two interacted, moving around each other in the way he'd only seen very old couples and close siblings do. As if they knew each other so well they could anticipate the other's move.
"I hurt him, Lassie." Shawn said, sounding so miserable that Lassie actually felt bad for the guy. "I kept poking at the case, even when the department told me to leave it alone. If I hadn't been so stubborn then he wouldn't have gotten…" He trailed off and bit his lip, forcing the words to an end. And then he started again just as abruptly, before Lassie could say whatever needed to be said in that silence.
"When I woke up in that room…I knew as soon as I realized I was tied up and Gus wasn't what was going to happen. It's kind of inevitable, you know? So many dangerous criminals, you're bound to get a crazy in there someone. Some guy who just likes hurting others for the heck of it." Shawn scrubbed a hand over his face, let out a deep, shuddering sigh. "And that's the meat and potatoes, you know? I knew from the beginning, from when we started Psych, that something like this was going to happen. And I let Gus help me. I practically forced him to."
They were at the hospital now, and Shawn seemed to be collapsing in on himself, arms and legs drawing close to the middle of his body at the prospect of having to face his convalescing best friend. Lassie forced his tongue to work, made the words come out. Because this is the reason why he went to Shawn. He, Lassiter, not Juliet or Spencer's father, had the most unbiased insight into the man. And Shawn was occasionally wild and certainly reckless, but he was never cruel and would never deliberately injure another person.
"I think that Gus was going to follow you wherever you went. I think he knows that you need him to pull you out of trouble."
Gus lit up when he saw Shawn hovering in the doorway, and then remembered that he had killed a man and bit his lip, looked away. It was only the two of them – Lassie had warned the rest of the staff away from the room, warned visitors away. It needed to be just them.
"I was going to leave." Shawn said, but Gus still couldn't look at him. He felt dirty, as if the man's blood was still visible on his hands, on his heart. But Shawn talked anyway, fast and high-pitched, the way he always talked when nervous or covering up being nervous. "Get on my bike and head out east, like I did when we graduated high school. I thought that would have been better for everyone, but I can't…my arm." He swallowed and looked at the ground, and then back at Gus. "Man, Gus, please. Look at me. Please."
And Gus dragged his eyes up, lingering on the arm that was covered in bandages and secured with a sling. He gulped, then moved up to Shawn's face, wild with concern and…and guilt? "I'm so sorry." Shawn said, crossing the room in three great strides and collapsing in the chair next to Gus's bed. He clasped Gus's uninjured hand in his uninjured one, light skin on dark like it had been since childhood. "Gus I…if I'd known this would happen I would have never…" But he looked up, because Gus had said his I'm sorry along with Shawn, and Gus's grip was hard and nervous too.
"What are you sorry about?" Shawn asked, confused. "I was the one who started stupid Psych in the first place. I was the one who pursued the Maggie Lawson. It was my fault that you got kidnapped and hurt and almost…" But he couldn't say the word died. He just shut his mouth, breathed hard through his nose. His arm throbbed dully under the bandages. He'd stopped taking the pain medication a couple of days ago, because they made him dizzy and strangely emotional. Because, on some level, he knew he deserved the pain because he'd put Gus through worse.
"I killed that guy." Gus said, his words so small and hopeless that they cracked along the edges. "I killed him and I don't even feel bad about it, because I did it to save you, but I can't…I'm just as bad as those people we put behind bars, Shawn. I killed somebody."
"Gus…" Shawn said, shaking his head. "Gus, no, you've got it wrong. It was self-defense, man. Self-defense. Anyone can see it. He was taking a crowbar to your ribs, man." Here Shawn glanced at Gus's torso, bandages and bruised, and winced. "He broke your ankle. He was going to kill you."
He could tell that none of these arguments were getting through to Gus. Mild-mannered Gus, who was the voice of reason, the responsible one, would of course freak out over killing someone, even if that someone was a psychopath.
"He would have killed me." Shawn muttered, locking eyes with his oldest friend. "He was just about to put that crowbar through my head. He'd already taken out my arm. Would you rather that? Me dead? I wouldn't blame you. This is definitely the shittiest thing I've ever done to you, and I've done a whole lot of shitty things in our lives."
"No." Gus said, shaking his head. He couldn't believe Shawn would even suggest that. "I couldn't live if you died."
"It's a two way street, buddy. I couldn't have lived if you'd died either." Shawn looked through his eyelashes at Gus, and he suddenly looked younger than he had in a long time. "Do you forgive me for not seeing you? I just…I thought that it would have been better just to take off. I make your life so dangerous."
"You make it worthwhile." Gus said firmly. He had to wait a few seconds, because his ribs still weren't what they should be and all the talking made him gasp at the pain that flared…everywhere. "Without you, I don't know what I'd do."
"Ditto, man." Shawn said, smiling almost like the old Shawn Spencer would have smiled. "I would say that we hug it out, but you're not in the best position to do that, huh Charles Manson?"
"Look who's talking. A few more metal limbs and you can be Darth Vader."
"Take that back!"
"You're the one who compared me to a serial killer. I'm just returning the favor."
"Not with the villain of our childhood! C'mon, Gus, that's so not fair."
"I broke seventeen bones for you, Shawn!"
"You're never going to let me forget that, are you?"
"It happened less than a week ago!"
Lassie leaned against the wall outside the room, listening to the familiar banter through the thin walls. He smiled at Juliet, tiredly resting in a similar position on the opposite wall, at Mr. Spencer right next to him. They had their psychic detectives back.
Life was normal again.
really, we can't describe how much we love psych. unless you haven't gotten it by now, we're not naturally comedic writers, so the witty banter that makes this show amazing may be lacking. it's not the fandom's fault, we're just not funny people.
anyway, for those of you who stuck with us we're truly thankful. make the most out of the rest of your summer. spend it with a best friend. we'll see you back here when psych starts again.